Keeping Your Family Priorities In Order

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Without question, the number one. . .the highest priority in a Christian’s life is daily seeking a closer personal relationship with Jesus as Lord.

No one can build this relationship for you. You can get saved, go to church, but only you can allow the Jesus to work through you as Lord of your life.

Your spouse, if you have one, should be your second priority, not your children. A marriage companion will be with you for the rest of your life, while your children are only with you for a season.

Your children are your next priority.They did not ask to be brought into this world, and it is up to parents to provide for and nurture them until they become adults.

God ordained marriage. He decreed that when a man and woman unite in holy matrimony, the two of them become one flesh.

When it comes to family an appropriate question to ask is what is a scriptural marriage relationship?

We find the answer to this question in the Ephesians 5:22-24 which says:

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.

“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Unfortunately, some husbands take these verses as a scriptural reason for treating their wives with less respect than God intended. They somehow overlook the following scriptures from Ephesians 5:25, 28-33:

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…”

“So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

“For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nouriseth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

“For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

“This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

“Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

Notice the very specific conditions laid out in this passage of scripture.

The husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. When a husband obeys the scripture by loving his wife, then he can expect his wife to be submissive to him. However, it the husband does not follow this lesson, it can cause trouble in the marriage.

God holds the man accountable for his family.  His headship is a matter of position . . .  somewhat like the mayor of a town.   A woman is not considered a lesser being spiritually or any other way.  She just holds a different position in the family.  She is accountable to her husband whereas her husband must answer to God.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

There are three steps to building a scriptural marriage relationship as described in Ephesians 5. These steps are simple, but they require hard work. The three steps have a priority that will make the relationship secure from the foundation up. You may have to discipline yourself to keep them in proper order.

Step 1: Build a Spiritual Relationship

The first step in establishing a scriptural relationship with your husband or wife is to build a spiritual relationship.Any marriage which is not founded on a firm spiritual relationship has one strike against it from the very beginning.

Statistics show that 99 percent of the young people who get married today choose a mate with whom they have nothing in common in the area of spiritual matters. In fact, spiritual compatibility is way down the list of considerations.

Sadly, too many Moms and Dads are more interested in how much money the prospective groom earns, what kind of position he holds in his job, if he has a good education, and if he is able to provide for a family. . .than the depth of his spiritual commitment to the Lord.

Many parents want to know if the future bride is moral, kind, and a good cook. Spiritual questions often concern denomination more than spiritual maturity.

Children are imitators! If you don’t have a spiritual relationship with your own spouse, it is unlikely your children will be interested in having one with their spouses either. Even single parents can emphasize many of the important aspects of strong relationships. People often learn the most when they look back at mistakes they made themselves.

When you are making every effort to build a spiritual relationship with your husband or wife, your children will see the results. Children can tell whether you put Jesus first in your life. Put God’s Word in your heart daily. Pray together. Talk about spiritual things together. Worship together.

Step 2: Develop Good Communication

The second step in building a scriptural relationship is to develop good communication between you and your marriage partner.

An interesting survey shows that the average American woman speaks thirty-three thousand words a day, while the average American male speaks only about twenty-nine thousand words a day. Most men are alike in one respect; when they come home in the evening, they have done just about all the talking they want to do for the day.

The problem is most men have already spoken twenty-five thousand words or more, before they come home from work. On the other hand, their wives have probably spoken about seven thousand. That means husbands must be ready to listen to their wives deliver about twenty-six thousand more words. This is usually when communication breaks down.

The most frequent complaint made by wives in marital counseling sessions is that their husbands don’t listen to them.

Step 3: Establish Honest Intimacy

The third step in building a scriptural relationship is to establish honest intimacy.Intimacy does not mean just sexual intercourse.  This teaching is not about that aspect of the marriage relationship. . .although I may teach on it at a later date.

It is critically important for husbands and wives to reaffirm their love and appreciation of each other several times during the day.

The third priority in your life should be your relationship with your children. Children do not have the wisdom, foresight, or knowledge to properly choose what is best for them in life. Who do you think needs to teach them this skill?

“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

-Proverbs 22:6

The most important thing in child-rearing is not education. Neither is it proper clothes, food, nor shelter. God wants us to provide these things for our children, but the most important thing we can do is be a godly example and help them develop their personal walk with Jesus Christ.

You may go to church, tithe, and have all nine gifts of the Spirit operating in your life. But it you do not have love and peace in your home, you are “as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal” (I Corinthians 13:1). The person you really are is going to show at home. How well the Word is working in you is revealed in the place where you feel most comfortable to be yourself.

If you are under a load of care and anxiety, yet paste a false smile on your face for church, you are nothing more than a hypocrite. You may fool a few people at church but you are not going to be very convincing to your spouse or your children.

What are your priorities?


ACHIEVING BALANCE in a single-parent home is difficult, but just as necessary as in a two-parent environment. Surveys reveal that most single parents did not choose to be single. It was forced upon them by death or divorce. Either way, it is a traumatic experience.

The dictionary defines trauma as “an injury, wound, or a shock.”Let’s compare the trauma of losing a spouse to losing a part of your body.

Suppose you lost your leg. First, you would experience immediate and intense pain. Second, you would have to learn to walk without this once integral part of your being. Third, you would have a scar from the wound of this loss. Fourth, you would need to learn to live your life in spite of this major change.

The good news is that healing can come! But before a wound can begin healing, it must be closed. A personal relationship with God is essential. Even if no one else is able to understand your situation, the Word of God promises:

“…I [Jesus] will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

“So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”    Hebrews 13:5, 6

One final thing. . .there is a difference between being alone and lonely.

There is a difference between being single and being alone. The dictionary defines single as “separate, unique, and whole.” Quite frankly, a single person should never desire to stop being unique and whole.

Even in marriage, you have your own individual personality, separate from the person you married. Unfortunately, many times people confuse being single with being alone.

“…my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”   John 14:27